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Pastor defrocked over gay wedding vows to appeal - abc27 WHTM

Pastor defrocked over gay wedding vows to appeal

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PHILADELPHIA (WHTM) -

A United Methodist pastor from Lebanon who was defrocked after officiating his son's gay wedding in Massachusetts says he will appeal the decision Thursday by church officials.

The Rev. Frank Schaefer held a news conference at the United Methodist Church of Germantown, a church that defrocked a pastor in 2005 for being a lesbian, just hours after the decision was announced.

Schaefer appeared visibly shaken and said he was in shock.

"I never thought I would be in a church that would force a parent to choose between a child or ministry," he said.

Schaefer had already been suspended and was told to resign from the clergy by Thursday if he could not follow the denomination's Book of Discipline. He argued that the book discriminates against gay people and he refused to voluntarily surrender his credentials.

"The question was can you uphold or do you promise to uphold the Book of Discipline, to
which I could not say yes to. I said no," he said.

Schaefer's attorney said the appeal process could take a year or longer.

Until then, Schaeffer says he has offers to speak at colleges and universities around the country.

 

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